4 tips for woodland survival

Recently on this blog, we talked about what you should do if you need to contact the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in case of emergency. But what about you landlubbers who prefer camping and nature to sea life? It is always good to know what to do in case of emergency, so make sure you are prepared by checking out this list of things to do when lost or injured in the woods:

1. Before you leave: First, whether you are going for a few hours, or for the weekend, when you leave for an adventure you should always tell someone where you are going and how long you will be gone. This will ensure that, if you do go missing, someone will know to come looking for you. Secondly, you will certainly be packing a bag. Make sure to bring tons of water, a few snacks, a change of clothes, and a first aid or survival kit. Adventure Medical offers a few different kits that range from a single knife to a utility box.   

2. Call for help: In a 1946 pamphlet from the U.S. State Department of Agriculture on how to be safe in the woods, the Forest Service suggested that "A clear head will find itself." Meaning that if you take time to think, you would be able to save yourself. While the sentiment is nice, its not necessarily true. So first thing you should do is signal for help. You can do this by building a fire, spelling out an SOS or (if you have one) shooting off a flare gun.

3. Fire/Warmth: If building a fire is not part of your initial call-for-help plan, be sure that it is next on your list of things to do. No matter where you get lost, remember that any location gets chilly when the sun goes down, and you don't want to be prone to hypothermia. Building a decent fire in a safe clearing and layering on the warm clothes will help you to stay warm and dry. For this, you want to be sure that you have packed a good amount of compact, yet effective layers into your bag. When putting together camping gear, consider purchasing a dry bag for clothing, towels and blankets. Dry Pak offers some great duffel options that come in a number of sizes and colors.

4. Shelter: No matter where you get lost, finding or building a shelter should be a top priority. This could be in a nearby cave or under a natural overhang of rock. Keep in mind that if your location is prone to unpredictable weather patterns, you may want to try and camp on higher ground. This will give you a better chance of being seen from overhead and will also not allow for pooling of water wherever you sleep. While no one plans to get lost in the woods, preparing for a dry and warm place to sleep when packing your bag is a good idea. Make sure to bring a few extra garbage bags for lining the ground (or yourself) to make rain a non-factor. Also be sure to pack a lightweight sleeping bag or blanket just in case.

If you are planning a trip into the woods, and happen to get lost on your adventure, consider these tips for getting to safety. If you are interested in adding to your camping pack to ensure your safe return, contact ePal Inc. for a vast array of products, tools and gadgets. We offer a range of camping gear and also specialize in marine accessories. Contact us today! 

3 must-haves for any tackle box

Fishermen are always very possessive over their tackle boxes, and for good reason. They are a catch-all for anything and everything that he or she might need while trying to capture that elusive catch-of-the-day. But what goes into those handy bags and boxes? Here are some ideas for how to fill your box so you can tackle even the most evasive fish.

- Floaters and sinkers – Floaters (or bobbers) let you know when you get a bite from a fish and sinkers bring your bait far below the water's surface. These two items are clutch when it comes to lake or sea fishing. If you are looking for new additions to your tackle box, try the Davis Fish Seeking Trolling Plane. You can set its depth and it will do the rest!

- Line – This may seem like a no-brainer, but you don't want to get caught without it. Making sure that your tackle box is full of ample amounts of fishing line will reassure you in case you snap a line while reeling in a big one.

- Pliers – A necessity when you are wanting to take hooks out of fleshy fish, needle-nose pliers are a must for any sufficient tackle box. If you are looking for a new pair, try out the Gerber Evo Multi-tool. This handy gadget is an all-in-one equipped with wire cutter, pliers, bottle opener and knife, what more can you want?

If you are interested in these items, or any other marine supplies, contact ePal Inc. today. Our product line is sure to have anything you need for fun in the sun and our staff of knowledgeable professionals will be able to answer any boating questions you have!  

3 necessities for your fishing trip

Father's Day is this Sunday, and we know that many of you outdoorsy folks will be heading out onto the water for a day of fishing with dad. With a week left before dad's big day, make sure that you have the necessities to ensure the best experience for all on board.

1. First Aid Kit - You never know when you might need a band-aid, antiseptic or tweezers on a boat. Make sure that you are prepared for even the worst situations by assembling a first aid kit that carries all of your medical necessities. Make sure to have Neosporin, waterproof medical tape and throw in some sunscreen for good measure!

2. Knife – Whether you are cutting into packaging, slicing up the catch of the day or just snipping a line, having a knife on board is a must. There are a bunch of options out there, and depending on the intent of use, you may choose to have more than one. For multi-purpose, however, Gerber's Bear Grylls Grandfather Knife is perfect for every generation of fisherman.

3. PFD - It may seem trivial to load up the boat with life jackets, but if you ever need them, you will be glad they are there. Keep in mind that, as boaters, you now have a ton of style and function options that you didn't have before. Life jackets are available from small and compact inflatables, to industrial looking, strapped jackets. If you are looking for something on the small side, try the Mustang Inflatable Belt Pack. It looks like a belt, and acts like a PFD.

With these three simple carry-ons, your boat will be well equipped to handle a weekend away with pop. For these items, and many more boat accessories, make sure to contact ePal Inc. Our staff of customer service representatives will outfit you with everything you need for a fantastic Father's Day.

How to make your boat water sport friendly this summer

Summer sports are tons of fun and are a great outlet for the kids to let off some steam. But if the weather is too hot, it can put a damper on a good time. For boat owners, having some toys for the boat will get everyone active and on the water and make this summer a blast! Here are three fun water toys that are sure to be a hit:

Tube: Little kids love to go fast, and with the inner little kid in mind, why not consider buying an inflatable tube for your powerboat. This boating accessory is almost a necessity for any family on the water this summer. With products like the Mach 2 from AIRHEAD, kids and adults alike can have fun in the sun!

Wakeboarding: For those of you who are multi-season athletes, or at least raising your own, wakeboarding is a great way to keep those skateboarding and snowboarding skills up to par through the summer. And whether you are a veteran to wakeboarding, or just starting out, there are products for everyone. For beginners, consider the Rave Jr. Impact Wakeboard. This package deal comes with board and boots at an affordable price for people looking to try something new.

Water Trampoline: Could there be anything more fun than that? Jumping around with family and friends on a giant, floating trampoline and splashing into the water might sound too good to be true, but with Rave Aqua products, it's totally possible. The company's Aqua Jump is essentially a party size, floating trampoline that comes in a number of sizes and colors. It is even compatible with additions, like an Aqua Launch, that will throw jumpers into the air so they can land with a splash!

If you are in the market for these boat accessories or any other outdoor products, contact us at ePal Inc. Our staff of knowledgeable customer service representatives are ready to help you gear up for summer!

3 Easy Upgrades for your boat this summer

Whether you are out with the family or entertaining friends, your yacht has to be in tip-top shape to guarantee a relaxing experience on the water. As summer approaches and days out on the open sea become more frequent, consider some quick and easy upgrades that will ensure tons of fun for the whole family.

Get your grill on: Literally. Whether you are cooking for yourself or a flotilla worth of people an attachable grill is a great addition and is sure to impress your guests. Kuuma offers a few different models that cater to any type of chef. Their products are transportable and can be stand-alone, or mounted to a railing system for space saving. 

Fishfinding: Once you have the grill on board, you have to have something to cook! For the fishermen and women in the crowd, a fishfinder is the perfect bonus item for your vessel. Available in a range of models that offer different types of technology, boat owners are able to find the equipment that best suits their needs. If you are looking for a simplified, yet powerful, technology, consider the Lowrance Mark-5X Pro Fishfinder Mono. It offers an intuitive interface alongside an easy-to-read home screen for ease of use.

Swim Platform: Boating on the water often ends with a swim. So whether you are keeping the kids safe or making it easier on yourself, installing a new swim platform makes getting into your boat much easier. If you are in the market for a new platform, consider one made of teak or a poly blend. Both options will require much less maintenance and will last from season to season. Whitecap offers some easy-install, affordable and durable options!

For all these items and many more, ePal Inc. is a one-stop-shop for all your boat accessories and outdoor needs!

Buyers guide for summer camping

What says family bonding like trading in electronics and sturdy shelter for canoes and adventure? Summer camping trips are a great for getting away from the hyper-connected modern world we live in – even if it is just for the weekend. While getting the kids in the car might be easy with the promise of campfire s'mores and no bedtime, reality sets in when you reach the campgrounds and they realize the lack of amenities.

But just because you are going off the grid, it doesn't mean that you have to go without. So make sure that you pick up all of your camping needs, and in case you are needing some assistance on picking out the right necessary items, we've got you covered!

- First, you will need a tent. Tents can be pricey, but they are a worthwhile investment if you are going to be a regular camper. For those of you that are traveling by land to your destination, just be sure to pick a tent that will accommodate all the people in your party. If you are a parent traveling with kids who are old enough to have their own tent, give them the independence and responsibility of setting up their own shelter for the weekend. If you are choosing to camp on the water and are traveling by boat to your destination, be extra sure to pick a tent that is waterproof or quick dry. Consider checking out tents from Coleman. They have an array of styles and features that are sure to please any camper!

- Once your shelter is set up, you are probably going to be hungry. Make sure that the food that you have brought with you, along with anything that you might fish for on your trip, is well preserved in a functional and effective cooler. NorChill offers a soft-sided cooler that can be used for hot or cold items.

- Then, once you have established a place to sleep, filled your belly and spent some time enjoying the surroundings, you are going to want a cozy place to lay your head for the night. While there are a number of types of sleeping bags out there, be sure to pick one that keeps you warm on cold nights while still allowing good ventilation so you don't overheat at night.

If you are interested in purchasing camping gear for the coming summer months, look no further than ePal Inc. Not only do we have a vast array of products, including camping and boating accessories, but we also have a staff of knowledgeable customer service representatives that are available to advise you on the right choices for your needs.

5 gift ideas for dad this Father’s Day

The trouble with shopping for dads is that when they need something, they go out and buy it themselves. That makes this time of the year particularly difficult as we scramble to come up with gift ideas for Father's day. So, what do you get for the guy who has everything?

Fear not! We've put together a list of five great gift ideas for the outdoorsy dad that are sure to put a smile on his face!

  • For those dads that didn't get their boat in the water in time for Memorial Day, boat cleaner makes a great gift! With hull wash, deck polish and a little TLC, you and dad can spend the day bonding while you buff out the boat for a summer of fun on the water. The Flitz Marine Detailers Kit is a handy, affordable package deal for this type of job. Featuring polish, wax, lime and rust remover and buffer balls, this purchase is really a one-stop shop for sprucing up the boat! 
  • Anyone who has ever been a passenger on a power or sailboat knows the importance of dry clothes and towels. So make sure your dad is prepared by investing in a waterproof bag for him. A safe place where he can store his water-sensitive items like his cell phone, camera, clothes and towel, a waterproof bag is ideal no matter how long you plan on being on the boat. Attwood Marine offers dry bags that can hold 20 or 40 liters worth of dry goods that are a perfect substitute for an overnight bag on the water. 
  • Dads are masters at capturing those unflattering, but nostalgia-inducing, photos and videos from years of yore. As much as we hate them at the time, those pictures oftentimes capture some of our favorite memories. Make sure that your dad is equipped to seize the moment, on and off land, with a waterproof case for his camera, phone, tablet or iPad. DryCase offers an affordable and easy-to-use option that creates an air-tight seal around any tablet device.  
  • A little weather never stopped dad from spending the weekend out on the water. So if you are willing to splurge on dad's gift this year, check out tools to navigate even in the worst weather. A marine radar system is a handy gadget that helps skippers to maneuver through tight harbors and inlets, avoid buoys and pots and have a comprehensive knowledge of water depth at any point along their adventure! Check out options from SI-TEX, Furuno or RayMarine for high-quality products. 
  • And finally, for those laid-back days at sea or out on the lake, make sure that dad's boat is ready to snag the ultimate catch-of-the-day with top of the line fishing boat accessories. For top-of-the-line tackle bags and boxes, look no further than pre-packaged totes from Wild River. For coolers and bags check out products from Coleman and C.E. Smith. If you are looking for an installation piece, like a rod holster, look to industry leaders like Scotty or Wahoo Industries. No matter what you choose, dads from every school of thought will love the addition to their boat.

Even if you are still unsure about what type of boat accessories to pick up for your dad this year, don't worry! At ePal Inc. we've got you covered! Our team of boating and outdoors experts can help you find the gift that is perfect for your pop, and we offer free ground shipping to the lower 48 states, plus flat rate expedited options. Contact us today and we will help you make this Father's Day one to remember!

Must-haves for weekends on the water

Now that Memorial Day is over chances are that your boat is finally in the water, and with the combination of beautiful summer weather and no holiday traffic, weekends on the water are fast approaching! Whether you are on a powerboat or sailboat, there are a few gadgets that are must-haves this summer.

  • Marine GPS/Fishfinder Combo – This handy tool makes it possible not only to plot and navigate your destination or current coordinates also to see what is going on below your boat. With a GPS/Fishfinder Combo, you will never feel lost no matter how far from land you are, and you will always be able to find the (sometimes elusive) catch-of-the-day!
  • Cellular Amplifier – With this technology, you will be able to use your cell phone from any location, no matter how bad the service normally is. It will make your home, RV, workplace or boat become a reception hotspot. Using this tool, going out on the boat for a weekend fishing trip will get you far enough away from the real world without leaving you unable to call for help if needed!
  • Waterproof bags – Every mariner knows the importance of a dry set of clothes. Likewise, every parent knows how critical it is to have a camera at the ready for those memorable moments. With a waterproof bag, everything that you could need for a day, night, or weekend on the boat will stay safe and dry.

For all of your boat accessories, look no further than ePal Inc. Our intuitive website makes finding the product that is right for you easy. Our expert staff is at-the-ready to answer any product questions that you may have and to ensure that you find the items that best suit your needs!

A checklist for your next fishing trip

Are you heading out on your first summer fishing trip soon? The last thing you want to happen is to forget to bring essential equipment with you, especially if these items are things you may not be able to purchase at your destination. There are a few obvious things you should put on your list: fishing pole, tackle box, food, drink and sunscreen. But what else should go on there?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Fishing license: Sometimes it's easy to forget that in most lakes and rivers you're required to have a fishing license. Make sure that you know the process for securing one before you head out on the water, as it may be easier to purchase online rather than in person.
  • Hydration: Bring plenty of containers to hold fresh water. The lake water may not be safe to drink. There may also be situations when you'll be thirsty but you don't want to head back to the dock, as your motor can disturb the fish and scare them away. Having water onboard will make a big difference.
  • Marine radio: When you're out on the water, whether it's a lake or the ocean, you'll want to have a radio so that you can contact the local authorities if you become stranded and need assistance.

For anglers who like to have the best marine electronics on their boat, there isn't a better resource for this equipment than ePal. When it comes to navigation and communication gear, no one has a better selection of the best brands at affordable prices. Check out our online store today to see our latest sales!

The importance of proper release technique

Catch and release fishing is becoming a more popular practice these days as anglers are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of fisheries. Catching fish that are too small to eat and not returning them to the water can have a major impact on these populations, so it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the best practices for ensuring their survival once you release them:

  • Don't try to remove the hook if it is too deep: Sometimes a fish will take a hook so deep that you can't remove it without performing surgery. It's better to simply cut the line as close as possible to the hook and let the fish go, as they'll either expel it themselves or the hook will eventually corrode.
  • Get your hands wet when you handle a fish: Fish have a layer of slime on their scales and skin that protects them from infections and parasites. If you touch them with dry hands, you risk removing this and exposing them to these hazards underwater.
  • Stick to a five second rule: Fish should never be out of water for more than five seconds at a time. Once you pull them out of the lake or ocean, place them in a bucket of water as soon as possible.
  • Try to use a net as much as possible: The less that you have to handle the fish, the more likely they will survive once they are released. A rubber net can be used to lift them out of the water.

If you're heading out to your favorite fishing spot soon, make sure that your boat has all the latest marine electronics and technology onboard so that you have an easier time finding and catching fish. You can find the best equipment by shopping at ePal!